PwC announces three new partners as part of 700-strong promotions round in Northern Ireland

Posted By:
PricewaterhouseCoopers Llp (PwC)

3rd Jul 2023

PwC has further invested in its senior team in Northern Ireland with 11 senior promotions, including three local directors admitted into the partnership, and eight senior managers promoted to director.

The new partners and directors are part of the overall 709 promotions being made across Northern Ireland this July, reflecting PwC’s continued investment in the region. 

The new additions to the partnership include Christopher Neill in Tax, Deborah Stevenson in Operate and Michael Willis in Deals. 

The newly promoted directors at PwC NI are Michael Walkingshaw in the Consulting practice; Connor Bailey and Darren McCarroll in the Deals practice; Mari McLarnon in the Tax practice; and Sarah Cole, James Davidson, Celesta Forte and Simon Gowdy in Operate.

Caitroina McCusker, Regional Market Leader for Northern Ireland, said:

“It is wonderful to welcome Christopher, Deborah and Michael to the partnership. They each bring a huge wealth of experience and talent to our leadership in Northern Ireland and I extend my warmest congratulations to them.  They will have an important role to play in delivering our strategy and helping our clients navigate challenges and find opportunities in areas like climate change and rapidly evolving technology like Artificial Intelligence. 

“I also want to congratulate all of our people who are celebrating promotions this July, including our eight new directors. This is a testament to their continued hard work and the value they bring to PwC and our clients.

“We are proud to employ over 3,700 people in Northern Ireland, and are committed to investing in our community of talented, innovative and creative solvers. I am excited by what we can achieve together for our people, for our firm, for our local communities and for our clients.” 

Across the UK, PwC will promote 69 directors to its partnership this summer, and admit five further direct partner hires.  In addition, the firm welcomed 33 direct partner hires over the past financial year, bringing the size of the UK partnership to 1,057 at 1 July 2023. All PwC UK partners are equity partners. 

42% of the July cohort are women (up from 39% last year) and 19% are from an ethnic minority background (up from 14%), moving the firm closer to its 2025 gender and ethnicity representation targets at partner level of 30% and 15% respectively. 

As PwC continues to invest in growth outside London, 38% of the new partners are based in regional offices including Belfast, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow, up from 30% last year. This takes the total percentage of PwC UK partners based outside London to 27.6%. 

More about the Partner admissions in Northern Ireland:

Christopher Neill is a Queen’s University Belfast graduate who joined PwC in 2018 following extensive experience working in local law firms. Christopher now leads PwC’s NewLaw Financial Services offering, advising law departments across the financial services sector on Managed Legal Services and the use of automation and technology to optimise legal delivery. He has been ranked as a Next Generation Lawyer in Legal 500 and is a Recognised Practitioner for Banking and Finance and LawTech Consulting in Chambers and Partners. In his new partner role, Christopher leads PwC’s legal offering in Belfast and will continue to grow PwC’s global Legal Business Solutions practice across people, process and technology.

Deborah Stevenson is an Ulster University graduate who joined the firm in 2008 after starting her career in local government in Northern Ireland. Her PwC career has spanned across Forensic Services and more latterly, operational and people roles. In her new partner role, Deborah will support the growth of PwC’s managed services business, Execution Managed Services, where the majority of programmes are delivered by Operate, PwC’s primary operational delivery asset headquartered in Belfast. Deborah will lead Operate’s people strategy and the HR Managed Services Delivery operations.

Michael Willis joined PwC in 2006 as part of his undergraduate placement year, and rejoined the firm as a graduate in its Forensic Technology team in 2009. Since then, he has focused on supporting clients with large scale investigations and on supporting in-house legal teams to use technology to streamline and automate key processes such as contract review or contract creation. As a partner in PwC’s Deals line of service, Michael will focus on helping clients to streamline and automate the process of reviewing and updating large volumes of contracts, supported by the latest technology, including the use of AI.